By Al Giovetti, 03/13/97
Star Trek: Borg
The history of Star Trek games is very rocky. Many of the games are not even passably entertaining. The interfaces used are often not well thought out. Like many license games, the developers seem to think the license will carry the sales so why spend money on the game?
The Borg appeared first in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), and I am sure that a real Star Trek fan could tell you the number of minutes into the episode they appeared and the date the episode first aired, but most of us only need to know that they were a TNG innovation. The Borg are cybernetic hive beings who have a collective conciousness and will and employ high tech devices as prosthetic appendages and enhancements to human counterpart organs and limbs. The movie Star Trek: First Contact features the Borg who try to disrupt Earth history by going back in time and destroying Zephram Cochran's invention of the first warp drive leading to the first contact of Earth with alien races, specifically the Vulcans.
Simon and Schuster Interactive means SSI. From the early days of gaming up to the present time, SSI meant Strategic Simulations Incorporated one of the most influential and prolific game houses on the planet. I guess the other SSI has not been around long enough to know that calling themselves SSI in the face of the other company's long history will be confusing, but then being confused with Strategic Simulations is not a bad thing.
Company LineYou are a Starfleet cadet aboard the Starship Cheyenne, and the Borg are about to attack. Ten years ago, your father, Lt. Furlong, was killed in the Battle of Wolf 359. It was Starfleet's disastrous stand against the mechanical menace. Today, you and your fellow students are being evacuated from the front line of danger, robbing you of your chance for vengeance. Enter Q.
The capricious omnipotent being has decided to give you the chance of a lifetime. Not only will he pit you against the Borg, but he'll send you back in time to Wolf 359 to save your father's life -- and the Federation itself. Now you are aboard the U.S.S. Righteous, disguised as Lt. Coris Sprint, a Bijani with unusual talents and one of your father's best friends from the academy. You, your father, and your friend, Lt. Targus, must fight to keep the Borg from taking over your ship -- and unlock the mysteries of the hive-mind aliens before it's too late. Before you'll be done, you'll encounter extreme danger, difficult choices, and the unexpected -- and even see through the eyes of the Borg.
Star Trek: Borg - Experience the Collective. From the inside.
Have you seen "Star Trek: First Contact" yet? The latest hit movie, all about our favorite cyborg baddies, is out now and making Star Trek history! Be a part of it by checking out the whole new interactive episode from Simon and Schuster Interactive. Star Trek: Borg - Experience the Collective is at your favorite software dealer now!
Q puts you on the bridge of the USS Righteous where for the next two to three hours of plot you click on the screen hot spots and watch first person perspective movies of Star Trek action. You are allowed to make choices which way the plot should go. Should you choose wrong you are often killed or confronted with Q and sent back to repeat the choice again.
Q is used as the help system. When you make a wrong choice he usually tries to get you back on the right path. Q usually can jump you back to before the decision point where you went wrong. These jumps are logical since Q has the ability to jump you around in time, since he is one of "the Q.consciousness." Unfortunately, in some cases you fail because you need to die to get a clue as to what to do, this is another flaw.
You get to use authentic Star Trek gadgets. You use your tricorder to solve many of the puzzles and get clues about what to do next. Infact the game play is so excellent, entertaining, and enjoyable that you will be very angry when the game is over in two to three hours.
The game is set in the Star Trek universe about the time of the Star Trek: The Next Generation. You play a Starfleet Cadet abord a new starship facing a Borg attack. Q, the all powerful being played by John de Lancie, appears and gives you a chance at vengeance. You are allowed to return to the time of your fathers death at the hands of the Borg at the battle of Wolf 359 where the federation ships were beaten to a pulp by the Borg, where your father died in the battle.
You jump back in time to the bridge of the righteous as the best friend of your father, security officer Lt. Sprint. You now have a chance to avert disaster and save your father by making the right choices. Q is there to help you and keep you on the right path until you succeed.
The game is a full motion video game. Playing the game is like watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are the original sets, original uniforms, authentic gadgets, authentic makeup for the Borg and aliens, and John de Lancie an authentic actor from the series. Sequences let you see through the eyes of the Borg.
AnimationThe full motion video portion of the game is directed by Star Trek veteran Jim Conway, famous for the DS9 Episode "Little Green Men!" The animation is beautiful in 16-colors and uses an excellent Dubk Corporation TrueMotion FMV game engine. Video is interlaced making it more fuzzy than necessary. Picture quality cannot be adjusted for computer performance by changing frame rate, screen size or toggleing interlacing on and off.
Voice ActorsJohn de Lancie starrs as Q, that quirky omnipotent godbeing we all love and love to hate. John does his usual workmanship like job and is generally excellent in the part. The game has ninety minutes of original never-before-seen, full screen, full motion video shot from the first person point of view. And while ninety minutes seems a lot when the television series only uses about 48 minutes of FMV for a 60 minute show, 90 minutes is too short for a computer game. Many will be disappointed at how short the game and FMV are.
Music ScoreThe music is authentic music from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series.
Sound EffectsThe sound effects are authentic Star Trek: The Next Generation sound effects.
UtilitiesThere is no load option while playing the game. You must restart the game to load a saved game. Often Q's ability to warp you back before decision points precludes the need to load save games, but the option would have been welcome in some situations. You also have no ability to click the escape key or right mouse button to bypass parts of the game that you have seen before. These flaws are unforgivable.
Multi-player FeaturesThere are no multiplayer features for this game.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesSimon and Schuster Interactive's Borg Web Page
Bernard Dy, Computer & Net Player, volume 3, number 10, March, 1997, pg. 66, 70%.
Donald St. John, PC Games, volume 4, number 3, March, 1997, pg. 67, 82%.